Directed Electronics is launching a new program called “100% Pure Viper” on February 1 to crack down on Internet discounting of its Viper remote starters.
The company also aligned with Shopatron to help its authorized retailers get a bigger share of Internet sales.
Under 100% Pure Viper, the company launched a “whistle blower hotline,”—which is really an email address ([email protected]) dealers may contact to report an illegal online auction or a transshipper.
Directed is also now tracking serial numbers of Viper products. It will not warranty any products sold uninstalled or stocked by an unauthorized dealer.
In the past few months, the company took legal action against multiple retailers in violation of transshipping policies, and it is shutting down thousands of illegal online product auctions a month, it said.
But since the Internet is where much of the business now takes place, the company also instituted a new program with Shopatron that starts mid-February.
“The Internet is not going away, and over 80 % of consumers first shop at the manufacturer’s site before searching for the product online. We want to capture these consumers…” it told retailers. So using Shopatron software it will let consumers buy from its Web site but the product must be shipped to a local Viper dealer where it may be picked up by the consumer. (Product will NOT be shipped directly to the consumer. And Directed won’t warranty it unless the dealer installs it).
Directed said in the memo, “We have set up extensive criteria for Viper dealers to become part of this program, and we are only allowing retailers to join that meet these criteria…”
President of Directed Electronics Kevin Duffy confirmed the memo and said that visits to Viper’s Web site have increased 158% over the last 2 years. “We have been trying to find ways to convert the increased consumer traffic to our Web site into increased floor traffic for our specialist retailers. Shopatron will help make that handoff seamless.”
Duffy said to expect additional retail programs this year.
Earlier this month Shopatron announced that consumer electronics stores using its service saw same store online sales grow 83 percent year over year in Q4, including a 109% increase in December.
More than 15 CE brands including JL Audio use Shopatron.
One more note: Viper offers up to a $2,500 refund on your insurance deductible if your car is stolen in the first year after you buy a security system. Directed told retailers it will increase that guarantee to $5,000 if the consumer buys both a Viper security system and Viper Window Film in a combo package.